Friday, February 12, 2016

Shrimp Fried "Rice" Recipe

TGIF!  I am so happy it is the weekend -- I am headed to NYC for a girls' weekend and I couldn't be more excited!  Since many of us will be eating our share of chocolate this weekend, I thought I would share a healthy and delicious recipe to kick off your weekend.

While grocery shopping this past weekend, I finally found the riced cauliflower from Trader Joe's.  It's been all over the interwebs and my store finally had some in stock.  I bought three bags just in case I loved it.  I am so glad I did!  I decided to make a fried "rice" because I knew it would be a great way to get in some veggies.  Thanks to the cauliflower already being prepped, this makes it a great option for a weeknight meal.

This recipe is totally customizable.  You could easily switch up the protein.  I chose shrimp because it's high in protein and low in calories, but this would be equally delicious with chicken, pork or tofu.  Feel free to mix it up with the veggies, too!


Shrimp Fried Cauliflower "Rice"
Serves: 2-3

12 oz. riced cauliflower
12 oz. large raw shrimp, peeled
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/3 cup shredded carrots or 1 medium carrot, diced
1/4 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup snow peas, cut in half (make sure to remove the stringy membrane)
1/3 cup egg whites
1 large egg
2 T soy sauce (I used tamari)
1 T garlic, finely chopped (I like a lot of garlic)
Salt & pepper, to taste
Nonstick spray
Optional: scallions or chives for garnish, diced

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.  Spray with nonstick spray and add shrimp once pan is hot enough.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.  Once the shrimp turns pink, flip to cook other side.  This should only take a few minutes.  Be careful not to overcook as you do not want the shrimp to become tough. You'll also be adding the shrimp back into the pan later, so undercooking the shrimp just a little is perfectly fine.  Once cooked, remove from pan and set aside.

Spray pan again and add all the veggies (except the scallions/chives).  Cook for a few minutes until onions are translucent and veggies are soft.  Add in the cauliflower, soy sauce and garlic.  Combine with veggies.  Turn heat up to medium high and continue to cook until cauliflower is done.  I cooked it for about 12-15 minutes because I like to get a nice caramel color on the rice and veggies.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if needed.

Add shrimp back into pan.  Make a hole in the middle of the pan and add the egg and egg whites.  Let sit for about 45 seconds, then stir to break up the yolk and add into the veggie and shrimp mixture.  I like larger pieces of egg, so I don't mix it up too much, but mix it in a bit more if you like smaller pieces of egg.

Top with diced scallions or chives and enjoy!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

40 Minute Incline Interval Treadmill Workout

We're getting so close to the weekend, I can taste it!  After my workout on Tuesday, my hips were really tight, so I decide to walk instead of run last night.  I like to play around with the incline on the treadmill when walking, so I made sure to jot down the incline as I changed it.

This workout is 40 minutes and alternates between working* intervals and recovery intervals.  Each interval is two minutes, but if you're looking to make it a little tougher, take only one minute for recovery.  This should make the workout a little closer to 30 minutes.  You can either walk or run or both!  I found it was easier to run with some of the higher inclines, but it wasn't a very fast run!

At the end of this workout, I was pretty sweaty and definitely felt like I got in a great workout.  I hope you'll give this one a try!

*working intervals are the ones that are a little harder and help get your heart pumping a little faster

Disclaimer: I am in no way a fitness professional.  Please consult your physician before beginning any fitness routine.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!  I hope you're all having a great week so far.  I am certainly ready for the weekend as I am headed to NYC with a few friends.  I can't wait!  I hope you're all staying warm.  Here's what I've been up to over the past week.

My new favorite workout tee!

Added some heavier weights to my collection.  I'm not really getting stronger, I was just lifting weights that were too light!  :)

I made these for dinner Sunday - perfect Super Bowl viewing food!

Post run foam rolling and smoothie

Shoveling is cardio, right?

I upped the weight for my squats and deadlifts.  Ouch!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tuesday Things

Hello and happy Tuesday!  Who is celebrating Fat Tuesday today?  I'll whip up a peanut butter cup smoothie later today and pretend I'm joining in on the Mardi Gras festivities! 


  • I've been eyeing this makeup bag for a while and it's now available via the Kate Spade surprise sale at a really steep discount

  • It's that in between season for candles and I can't decide on a scent.  I have been thinking about this, this or this from Bath & Body Works

  • I've been looking for some smoothie inspiration and I came across this PB&J smoothie from Cabot.  I've made them in the past, but this just reminded me how good they are.  I think I'll try this with raspberries

  • This zucchini noodles dish.  I'm really just in it for the cream sauce, breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese!

  • What is everyone watching? I watch the lamest shows and I know there are so many I could start watching.  I am just waiting for Quantico and Empire to start back up for the rest of the season.  Help me fill the void!

Monday, February 8, 2016

My Favorite Cookbooks

I was inspired to write this post after reading my girl Christina's (I actually started typing Xtina three times) post about her favorite healthy cookbooks.  The following is a list of my go-to cookbooks when I am looking for something new - they're a combination of both healthier recipes and not so healthy recipes.

Paleo Cookbook by Juli Bauer While I am not following a paleo diet, I am always looking for new and creative spins on the classics.  I made her slow cooker fall off the bone ribs for dinner last night and they did not disappoint.  There's a reason Juli is a #1 New York Times bestselling author!

The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka I have used Gina's website as a resource for healthier versions of my favorite recipes for years.  I don't think there is a recipe from either her website or book that wasn't delicious.  Not to mention, the photos are beautiful!  This is definitely a cookbook I reference more than a few times a month.

Make It Ahead by Ina Garten I couldn't have a list of my favorite cookbooks without including Ina!  I have used this cookbook primarily as inspiration for when I entertain.  Since receiving this cookbook for Christmas a few years ago, I have tried quite a few recipes - my favorite being her roasted shrimp cocktail and sauce.  I will never boil shrimp or use store bought cocktail sauce again!

The All New Cooking Light Cookbook by Cooking Light magazine I have had this cookbook for nearly 10 years and I generally pull it off the shelf when I am craving sweets and want a healthier version.  Most recently, I made their chocolate sheet cake to celebrate National Chocolate Cake day and it was really good.  Even my friend who doesn't do "light" versions of anything raved about it!

Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant Again, I couldn't have a favorite cookbook roundup without this one!  I was super excited to purchase this cookbook as Jessica's blog has been a favorite of mine for years.  Jessica's personality really shines through in each story she tells as well as her gorgeous photos.  Her creativity and recipes are just amazing.

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perlman I love Deb's personality and she has been a great resource for delicious recipes.  I don't know how she does it in her tiny NYC apartment, but she never ceases to amaze me.  Love.

What cookbooks do you love?  Do we share any favorites?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Trader Joe's Haul and Meal Planning - Week of 2/7

Happy Saturday!  I hope you're all enjoying your weekend.  I started off mine with a workout before heading to Trader Joe's for my weekly grocery shopping trip.  I'm trying to get better about buying only the food I will need for the week, but with so many great products at Trader Joe's, it's hard not to pick up a few extras!

I love reading other blogger's posts about meal planning and shopping since it often gives me new ideas when I'm in a rut.  It's also a great way to discover new products.  I thought I would start a weekly blog series showing you my grocery store haul(s) (sometimes it's more than one store!), as well as my menu for the week.  Hopefully this will inspire some of you if you're ever in a food rut!

I didn't have an actual plan written down when going shopping, but I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to make for meals next week.  The following is what I picked up specifically for my menu:
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Light cheddar cheese slices
  • Liquid egg whites
  • Canadian bacon
  • Riced cauliflower (FINALLY found it!)
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Apples
  • Shredded carrots
  • Pineapple
  • BBQ sauce (three kinds!)
  • Pretzel bagels
  • Boneless chicken breasts (not pictured)
  • Uncooked shrimp (not pictured)

The following items were purchased as impulse buys to stock up my pantry and fridge/freezer:
  • French roast coffee
  • Ancient grains super seed oatmeal
  • Super seed blend with cranberry & coconut chips
  • Barbara's cinnamon puffins
  • Whole wheat hamburger buns
  • Corn & wheat tortillas
  • Reduced fat cream cheese
  • Wine country chicken salad (purchased purely out of hunger/laziness to eat for lunch today!)
  • Flank steak (not pictured)
  • Shaved steak (I had a craving for steak and cheese! Not pictured)
  • Pork loin (not pictured)
  • Unsweetened coconut milk
On the menu for this week:
Sunday - Slow cooker BBQ ribs from Julie Bauer's cookbook with leftover roasted acorn squash and roasted broccoli
Monday - Skinnytaste's slow cooker buffalo chicken lettuce wraps with leftover veggies (the obsession continues!)
Tuesday - Leftovers
Wednesday - Shrimp fried "rice" (hoping to create a recipe good enough to share)
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Dinner in NYC!

My breakfasts will be egg sandwiches with a side of fruit.  Lunches will be leftovers (leftover burgers, as well as leftovers from dinner.  Snacks will be fruit, hummus with veggies, string cheese, yogurt or popcorn.  I always make sure I have plenty of options for snacks!

What's on your menu for next week?  As you can see, I eat a lot of leftovers!  Since it's just me most nights, I prefer to make larger meals a few nights and eat the leftovers throughout the week.  It really saves me on nights I work late.

What's your favorite grocery store?  Favorite Trader Joe's buy?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Burger Recipe

After drooling over reading Jessica's recipe for buffalo chicken fries, I've had buffalo chicken on the brain.  So, when meal planning for the week, I made sure to include a buffalo chicken burger on the menu and picked up all the necessary ingredients.

The best part of this burger is it's stuffed with blue cheese!  Yes!  It's a nice little surprise when you cut into the burger and see the melty cheese inside.  I decided to add shredded carrots to the burger to make them a bit healthier.  Plus, it's just another way to get in some veggies.  I also grated onion into the mix since ground chicken breast is so lean, I wanted to make sure they didn't become too dry.  I often do this with lean ground turkey and beef.

I served my burger topped with a bit of blue cheese as well as a few dashes of Frank's hot buffalo sauce.  I put that **** on everything!  I also made a batch of confetti slaw from Skinnytaste's cookbook.  I modified it slightly by using broccoli slaw in place of cabbage and I omitted the cucumbers and peppers.  I also added some cilantro and parsley.  It paired nicely with the burger.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Burgers
Serves: 4 (or 2 generously)

1 lb. Ground chicken
2-4 T. Buffalo sauce (depends on how much spice you like)
1/3 c. Shredded carrots
1/3 Onion
4 T. Blue cheese crumbles plus more for topping, if desired
1 t. Garlic powder
Salt & pepper

Place chicken, buffalo sauce, carrots, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Grate onion and combine.  Be careful not to over mix as that will create a tough burger.  Divide into four even portions (or two, if you want a big burger).  Form each portion into a burger and make a dent in the middle.  This is where you will place the blue cheese (1 T. each).  Place the blue cheese in the dent and reform the burger, making sure all the cheese is sealed well.  Make another dent in the middle.  Doing so will allow the juices to distribute evenly and keep the burger flat while cooking.  Nobody likes a burger that's puffed up in the middle!

Heat up a skillet on medium and coat with nonstick spray.  Cook until brown and flip.  Continue to cook until done.  Normally, I would press on the burger to check its doneness, but with chicken or turkey burgers, I tend to use a meat thermometer.  You want to make sure the burger is around 160 degrees (will continue to cook once removed from heat and rested).  Let rest a few minutes.  Serve with sides of your choice and enjoy!